The European Choral Association was a partner in the Training Leading Voices project, led by ZIMIHC. 

The project sought to contribute to the professionalisation of vocal and choral leaders in Europe and the internationalisation of their careers through events in France, Italy, Slovenia and the Netherlands, centring on “Leading Voices“, a new major European event for vocal and choral leaders that was held in Utrecht in July 2022.

The Training Leading Voices project also sought to inspire organisations in the process of, or contemplating, organising their own events for vocal and choral leaders. 

Learn more about the project

Events in France, Italy, Slovenia and the Netherlands welcomed vocal and choral leaders of diverse levels of experience and fields of practice as participants, including:

  • students (studying school music, church music or choral conducting)
  • educators dealing with singing in schools or music schools
  • freelancers who lead choirs and vocal groups of all kinds of styles
  • employed vocal and choral leaders
  • those who learned another profession and lead choirs in their free time, conducting amateur singers or professional singers, coming from up to 40 different countries.

The project consisted of a series of training events with an international dimension: 

  • conductors’ competitions
  • study tours allowing vocal and choral leaders to watch their peers at work
  • conferences and training programmes with practical workshops
  • laboratories to test innovative approaches
  • concerts and performances of exemplary groups of a high artistic standard or demonstrating specific methods and approaches. 

Bursaries were also made available for the internationalisation of other conductors’ events.


The Training Leading Voices project  made quality European-level opportunities available for choral and vocal leaders through a range of events, centring on the Leading Voices festival.

We call on policymakers at European, national, regional and local levels to:

  • recognise the incredible benefits that the Training Leading Voices project has demonstrated exist when we internationalise events for choral and vocal leaders
  • be forward-looking and innovative, lending all their support to international events for choral and vocal leaders in the future

 –> Read the Leading Voices press release for more

Project activities

Project activities took place at the following events:

You can re-watch many of the Training Leading Voices activities in the following places:

Bursaries for events for choral/vocal leaders and conductors

We received 21 applications for bursaries in the frame of the project, which the commission awarded to the following organisations for the internationalisation of their conductors’ events:

  • Association Kaunas (Lithuania) for the Masterclass for young conductors with Gary Graden at the XXIX international sacred music choir festival “Cantate Domino” (1-5 December 2021)
  • Sing Ireland (Ireland) for the 41st International Choral Conducting Summer School at the University of Limerick (6-12 August 2022)
  • Sing for Pleasure (UK) for the Summer School 2022 at Jesus College, Cambridge (13-21 August 2022)
  • Serbian Choral Association (Serbia) for From Classical To Innovative Rehearsal Methods, an online event for conductors (3-4 February 2023)




The partners
Co-ordinated by ZIMIHC, the project partners are: